It’s probably fair to say that public transport in Dubai was once restricted pretty much to the motor car, a few buses and the occasional boat transfer.
As the city evolved and expanded into a major global trade centre and one of the world’s most technologically advanced cities, clearly things had to change.
So, what happened and what is changing?
Growth and its challenges
Few if any cities anywhere in the world can seriously compete with Dubai in terms of growth over the last few decades.
That growth has led to the development of one of the most breath-taking cities on the planet, iconic skylines, staggering commercial opportunities and some truly magnificent residential locations.
However, inevitably that growth has also led to a corresponding increase in population and the spread of residential communities outside of the city centre into surrounding developments. The authorities in Dubai recognised the dangers of urban congestion as a result and have taken steps to not only radically improve the road infrastructure but also to provide a world-class public transport system.
Integration is key
The city has created what it refers to as the RTA.
This is the roads and transport authority and it is responsible for providing an integrated and holistic transport system for the city and its surroundings.
There are a number of critical components of this including:
- the investment of approximately $10billion by 2020 in the development of integrated transport systems;
- the modern city will offer a fully integrated model including metro, trams, taxis, water taxis and of course buses;
- road pricing and car sharing schemes have been introduced to try and encourage a reduction in the use of private road transport and a corresponding increase in the use of more environmentally-friendly methods of transport;
- the use of contactless smart card ticketing systems;
- the encouragement of private enterprise participation not only in the development and implementation of the transport infrastructure but also in things such as the naming and advertising potential offered by things such as stations and bus shelters.
The issues for transport infrastructure and property investment
Just as is the case in many cities around the world though, the public transport infrastructure cannot possibly service every single residential area in and around the city.
As a result, if you are looking for property it might be sensible to make sure that you are relatively close to one of the public transport lines of one form or another. Some property developments rely very much on the use of a car, which as costs rise and authority pressure is applied to the task of reducing car usage, might make such developments a little less desirable to live in over time.
This is something to be aware of and take into account when you are researching residential locations and properties to rent or purchase in this great city and its environs.